FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Collin Klein and third-ranked Kansas State bolstered their chances in the national championship chase by doing what Alabama failed to do.
The Wildcats beat one of the newcomers in their conference.
Klein, the Heisman Trophy hopeful starting a week after an apparent head injury, ran for two touchdowns for No. 2 Kansas State in a 23-10 victory Saturday night at TCU, which is in its first season in the Big 12.
Only a few minutes after Kansas State’s game started, and a rare Klein turnover, SEC newcomer and former Big 12 team Texas A&M finished off its 29-24 victory at Alabama, the No. 1 team in the BCS standings and AP poll.
That set up the Wildcats (10-0, 7-0 Big 12) to likely take over the top spot when the new BCS rankings come out Sunday night.
Kansas State, 10-0 for only the second time under coach Bill Snyder, was already No. 2 in the BCS standings, one spot ahead of Oregon. The Ducks, No. 2 in the AP poll, played California later Saturday night.
Klein’s third interception of the season came on only the fourth play against TCU. Freshman defensive end Devonte Fields was back in coverage when he made a diving grab for his first career pick.
The Horned Frogs (6-4, 3-4) failed to take advantage by going three-and-out.
By time they got the ball back, they were trailing for good and on way to their third consecutive home loss, all to Big 12 teams. It is the first time since 1997 they have lost three consecutive home games in the same season.
It was during the timeout for the change of possession after TCU’s punt that Alabama’s game ended.
Klein’s next play was a 62-yard pass to Chris Harper, who got an extra 15 yards or so on the play dragging defenders after making the catch near midfield. That drive ended with Klein’s 7-yard TD run.
When TCU punted again, Tremaine Thompson had a 33-yard punt return to the Frogs 41. The first of Anthony Cantele’s three field goals, a 41-yarder, made it 10-0.
Kansas State plays next Saturday at Baylor, then has a week off before ending the regular season at home against 19th-ranked Texas.
Klein seemingly showed no apparent ill effects from an apparent head injury that had knocked him out in the third quarter of last Saturday’s victory against Oklahoma State.
But outside of the long pass and two TD runs, including a nifty 34-yarder in the third quarter that gave him 19 for the season, it wasn’t Klein’s best game statistically.
The senior quarterback was sacked a season-high three times while completing 12 of 21 passes for 145 yards. He had 15 carries for 50 yards.
Gary Patterson, TCU’s winningest coach with 115 wins in 12 seasons, started his coaching career as a K-State graduate assistant in 1982, long before Snyder got there, and was part of the Wildcats’ first bowl team. He played there the previous two seasons, as a safety and linebacker who played a lot on scout teams and a little on special teams.
TCU didn’t score until Jaden Oberkrom’s 35-yard field goal with 6:59 left. Oberkrom was wide right on a 45-yard attempt at the start of the second quarter.
Trevone Boykin threw a 19-yard TD to Brandon Carter with 47 seconds left in the game.
Kansas State had a 13-0 lead after Cantele made a 20-yard field goal with 28 seconds left in the first half. That came after Deante Gray tried to field a punt that sailed over his head, and it was recovered at the Frogs 5.
The Wildcats had yet another scoring chance after that when Ty Zimmerman had an interception and returned it 30 yards to the TCU 31. But Cantele was wide right on a 48-yard field goal attempt on the final play of the half.
The Frogs have scored in 252 consecutive games since Nov. 16, 1991, the third-longest such streak in the nation behind Michigan (347) and Florida (307). Kansas State’s streak of 200 games in a row is the eighth-longest in the nation.
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